The Liam Fairhurst Foundation has one overall main aim – To help young people affected by cancer, disabilities and illness’. We achieve this in a multitude of different ways, and you’ll be able to see more examples of what we’ve done on our ‘latest’ page.
The ethos behind the charity is to help the young person affected by cancer, disabilities and illness’ and to also help young people around them too. Including siblings and children in some cases. The foundation which was founded by Liam’s brother, Callum, realises the importance of helping young people around the individual. Many of these young people such as siblings are forgot about, and the foundation ensures they are helped whilst still helping the young person during, before and after hospital.
The main way in which we achieve these aims is by supporting:
People: This is the biggest section in our ‘action plan’. We help many people across the United Kingdom in a variety of ways. For example, we provide grants for families with a child affected by cancer, disabilities and illness’ – often parents with a child in long term hospital care have to take time off work or even leave their job to look after their child. With a lack of stable income, this makes it difficult to pay for fuel to get to and from hospital or even pay for rent. With a grant families can look after the health of their child rather than worry about the next pound for essentials. (Some other examples of people we have supported can be seen on the ‘Latest’ page).
Organisations: We provide grants and assistance to charities and organisations who help those within our remit, for example ‘Sunflowers Care’ provide respite care for young people aged 0-18. Our grant funded a fully functional sensory room and parts of their sensory garden. (Some other examples of organisations we have supported can be seen on the ‘Latest’ page).
Projects: The Liam Fairhurst Foundation runs a series of different projects, we are currently working on the ‘Disney Project’, sending 20 families (over 80 people) some of whom are in palliative care to experience magical memories and have a break from the stresses and strains of hospital life. (Some other examples of organisations we have supported can be seen on the ‘Latest’ page).
More examples of what we do and who we have helped can be seen on the latest page, from funding counselling to helping children meet their favourite celebrities. Some of those we have helped have also posted thanks via our mobile phone app ‘The Liam Fairhurst Foundation’ which you can download from the Apple App Store and Google Play.
“Sometimes tomorrow is too far away, The Liam Fairhurst Foundation helps children be children and live for today”.
Liam Fairhurst was born on the 26th February 1995.
It was in July 2005 that Liam and his family’s life changed forever. After developing a limp Liam was taken to the local doctor, just days after the doctors appointment he was diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma, a rare high grade soft tissue cancer, in his left leg. Liam coped with his diagnoses and treatment by making friends with other people in his situation on the ward, in the first year of treatment he made a friend called Jack Wilkinson. They shared their worst moments together, their stories of treatments and hours of laughter.
Sadly, aged just 12, Jack passed away in 2006. The passing of his friend inspired Liam to help others like him and like Jack – so he started fundraising. Liam chose to do a sponsored one mile swim and, aged 11, raised an astonishing £13,000. What was remarkable was at the time of the swim Liam had lost over three quarters of the thigh muscle in his left leg and could barely walk 100 yards! But Liam was determined telling his family “no matter how long it takes I’m not getting out of the pool till I’ve done it!”. He then went on to National Television in ITVs Fortune: Million Pound Giveaway where he persuaded a panel of five millionaires to part with £50,000 to purchase and equip a luxury caravan for families affected by cancer to be able to have short breaks away from hospital.
Whilst fundraising Liam underwent numerous courses of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and operations in an attempt to halt the illness. On three occasions Liam spent weeks in intensive care and on top of this was taking numerous supplements to keep his kidneys functioning.
During routine scans six days after Liam’s 12th birthday (March 2007) tumours were detected in both his lungs and within months Liam’s condition was regarded as terminal. Liam refused to accept the diagnosis and with his family’s support sought second opinions which on more than one occasion led to other treatment including chemotherapy, operations and radiotherapy. At the time he was re-diagnosed his fundraising stood at over £70,000 and his enthusiasm to continue fundraising was such that the local community took up his cause and started organising fundraising events in his name. Liam chose not to make it public that he was dying because he didn’t accept it and also didn’t want people feeling sorry for him.
Despite Liam’s continued optimistic look on life, he sadly lost his battle with cancer on the 30th June 2009. Towards the end of Liam’s life the toll of his illness was such that he was confined to a wheelchair. For most people that would have been enough, but despite everything Liam faced he had continued to help other children like him – so much so that at the time of Liam’s passing he was responsible for raising £340,000, and a further £7million by heading a campaign for charity.
Liam’s courage and optimism inspired thousands across the country. The foundation is Liam’s legacy.